Newport schools opt in to free meals program

File image
File image

NEWPORT, Ky. (AP) - Students at the Newport Independent Schools will get breakfasts and lunches at no charge, regardless of family income.

The northern Kentucky school district is participating in the Community Eligibility Option program, part of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, passed in 2010.

Under the federal program, free meals are provided to all students in a district if at least 40 percent of the students' families receive public assistance.

The district easily meets the standard, with 86 percent of students living at or below the federal poverty level.

The Newport Independent Schools is the first northern Kentucky district to opt in.

Schools Superintendent Kelly Middleton said the program should help remove the stigma that has kept previously eligible kids from accepting meals.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)